Hey look! An old media company bought a new media company! What the heck does it all mean?
I’m here to help.
A: This was also a popular question in 2010 when the site was sold to FSV (which later became Big Lead Sports). All that changed was the look of the site (it needed a makeover) and we added writers. Expect more of the same. USA Today has quite the reservoir of resources. I suspect at some point, the BIG LEAD SPORTS banner will change to USA Today Sports Media Group (or something).
Q: Will the Roundup be changed?
Q: Will the site be incorporating colorful maps, a trademark of USA Today?
A: I’m a sucker for a good map, so maybe! But probably not.
Q: Will any of us be writing for USA Today, as in the actual paper?
A: That could happen at some point, but the top priority (by far) is to continue to develop this site.
Q: What are the comscore implications?
A: Only about 18 people care about this, but yes, USA Today will absorb all the comscore numbers from Big Lead Sports. My rudimentary math skills tell me that 18ish plus 13ish = 31ish, which should be good for 4th place until at least September, when the NFL starts up again.
Q: Can you put swear words in the headline? What about in posts? Will you have to tone it down?
A: Passionate writing occasionally requires the use of obscenities. The powers that be – we’ll get to them in a moment – seem to like the site’s edge. There’s an unidentified journalistic line out there, and we’ll try not to cross it.
Q: What about opinions?
A: We’ll still have them.
Q: Are you in competition with USA Today for stories?
A: Yes. Someone asked this question on a (marathon) conference call earlier, and the answer from USAT brass was unequivocally yes. So the goal will be to continue to break news, especially on the media front. If you’re a new reader, this is what we’ve broken lately: Pat Forde left ESPN for Yahoo, Jon Heyman left SI for CBS, and Jim Rome’s TV show was leaving ESPN (for CBS).
Q: When the hell is the mobile site coming, you’ve been promising that for years!
A: Correction – I did think one was coming about three years ago, and it was supposed to be a priority, but it never happened. As soon as I familiarize myself with the new tech department, I’ll begin gently pestering them about it. And yes, I know USA Today has a slick, easy-to-navigate mobile site.
Q: So who are the new USA Today overlords?
A: Tom Beusse is the new head of the USA Today Sports Media Group. He’s atop the pyramid. Dave Morgan (aka, the Guy Who Built Yahoo Sports) is the Senior VP of Content & Editor in Chief of the USA Today Sports Media Group and right beneath Beusse. Here’s some background on Morgan. He’s already plucked a couple big-time pros from Yahoo.
Q: Where do I send my resume when you begin expanding?